I’ve been getting a few of these emails recently… A provocative subject line like “your website is broken”, or, “broken links on your homepage” which, when you’re running several websites like me, always stops the heart for a second as you rush to find out which of your sites are broken. But then the email message is from some seemingly well-meaning person on the internet who has stumbled across a broken link on your website and is politely suggesting that you update the link to point to their site instead. Another common attribute of these spam/scam emails is that they will follow up with a second email a few days later chasing up their request.
These emails are nothing more than spam and are almost certainly generated by bots which you can prove by copying snippets of the emails and Googling for them. You’ll be sure to find examples of near identical emails just with different company names and websites. For example: “I’m reaching out today because I thought you might want to know about a few broken links on your page” or “I founded the HearTheMusicPlay.com with my few musician friends”
Another guilty party is Comparitech who have persisted to send three spam emails in the span of two weeks about broken links on my website with a plea to point to their website instead.
These types of email scams have been reported as early as 2010 but there are also some more recent articles about them too. Doing some further digging on this I found some instructions on a SEO/spam/scam website (that I won’t link to here) giving specific instructions on how to craft these types of emails. The advice was to use a ‘personal touch’ and suggested three templates to follow to build the spam emails. This is the sleazy world of search engine optimisation and any website that feels a need to resort to these measures will not last in the long term.